During the pandemic, it became clear that as much as the post-acute and long term care industry has worked to break down silos, walls and gaps in data and information existed. In response, AHCA/NCAL established the Long Term Care Data Cooperative. By compiling the most comprehensive data on post-acute and long term care residents nationwide and translating it into accessible and actionable information, the Cooperative aims to help clinicians, managers, and policymakers improve care.

“The source of information for the Cooperative is facilities’ own EHRs, and this enables them to track their own information against national data,” said Stephanie Kissam, executive director of the Cooperative. “Brown University and AHCA/NCAL have partnered with Exponent Inc. to collect and analyze this EHR data in a secure platform to identify trends in residents’ clinical status, care practices, and outcomes that will help improve resident care. Facilities will have the ability to look at things that aren’t necessarily reported in the MDS,” she added. Since the data tracked goes back to 2019, facilities can look at data over time.

“We’re building an infrastructure to provide actionable information about the kinds of practices, medications, treatments, diagnoses, care regimens, etc. that can improve resident outcomes,” she noted. This information also will provide clinical evidence for research studies, which have traditionally excluded older individuals as well as those with dementia.

The Cooperative enables facilities to drill down into specifics such as how they’re performing on a certain quality measure. Kissam said, “This might be the basis for having discussions about value-based payments.” The Cooperative is distinct from AHCA/NCAL's LTC Trend Tracker, which pulls data from publicly available records in addition to data that LTC Trend Tracker subscribers submit. However, information from both sources can be used to begin benchmarking efforts and find opportunities for quality improvement.

It is free for all skilled nursing facilities to participate in the Cooperative. Participants will have the opportunity to receive routine reports to assist with care coordination and improve operations and can voluntarily participate in research funded through academic partners. Go to the Cooperative’s website at ltcdatacooperative.org for more information.